Makazole Mapimpi holds his medal as he celebrates winning the world cup final. Photo: REUTERS/Matthew Childs
Makazole Mapimpi holds his medal as he celebrates winning the world cup final. Photo: REUTERS/Matthew Childs

The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup by the numbers

By Time of article published Nov 4, 2019

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YOKOHAMA – The Springboks are World Champions for the third time after an emphatic 32-12 victory over England in the final in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday.

Though they controlled the match easily, they did not dominate in the match stats.

England won the territorial and possession stats 56-44 percent in both aspects, respectively. They also made more runs, passes, offloads, beat more defenders, won more rucks and carried the ball over the advantage line more.

The one stat that they could not overcome, however, was the tackles made by the Boks - 158 to 92, with South Africa’s tackle success a staggering 92 percent. This effort was personified from the 31st minute onwards when England threatened the South African try-line with 26 phases, only to be denied a try and having to settle for a penalty instead.

With the tournament now completed, the Springboks showed their credentials throughout the final stats from the competition. Here we have a quick look at those numbers.

The Springboks ended the tournament as the leading point scorers with 262 points after seven games, averaging 37.4 points per game. New Zealand came in second with 250 points, but having played one game less after their clash with Italy was abandoned due to Typhoon Hagibis.

For all the talk of South Africa being boring, they ended RWC2019 with the second most tries - 33 of them, including two tries in the final - three tries behind New Zealand.

The World Champions also made the third most tackles in the competition with 818 an average of 116 tackles per game.

Although the All Blacks dominate the clean breaks stats with 122, the Boks managed to do the same on 88 occasions - the second best in the tournament.

South Africa made the fifth most runs in the tournament with 734.

South Africans also dominate the individual stats of the tournament.

Handre Pollard easily finished the World Cup as its leading point scorer with 69 points.

Welsman Josh Adams scored the most tries during the World Cup (seven) but South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi came in second with six tries, including a sensational try in the final.

Mapimpi also finished tied first with 12 clean breaks. He is joined in the top 10 by Warrick Gelant and Lukhanyo Am, both affecting 11 clean breaks.

Elton Jantjies finished the tournament as the second most successful conversion kicker with 14. Pollard was fifth with nine. He also slotted home the most penalties in the tournament with 16.

Pieter-Steph du Toit finished within the top 10 of the tackle stats - ninth with 61 tackles.

Pieter-Steph du Toit was named World Rugby Player of the Year. Photo: Mark R Cristino/EPA

There can be no doubt that Damian de Allende stood tall during this World Cup, proving his importance in the Springbok midfield with the fourth most runs of the tournament - 65.

Cheslin Kolbe and Kwagga Smith joined an elite group of players to have won titles in XVs and Sevens. Along with being a World Cup winner, the little winger with a big heart has also won a Currie Cup with WP, and an Olympic bronze medal. Smith, who played two games at this World Cup, has won a Currie Cup title with the Lions, played in three Super Rugby finals, won a World Sevens Series title, bronze at the Olympics and gold at the Commonwealth Games, both in Sevens action.

The final was a first in many respects. It was the first time South Africa scored a try in a final and the first time that the Rugby Championship title-holders won the Rugby World Cup. The three titles won by the Springboks equals that of the New Zealanders as the most successful team in the tournament’s history.

South Africa were also the first team to win the title after losing a pool game and maintain their 100 percent record in a World Cup final.

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